“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards”.
– Anatole France
First, a special “Thank you” to Jennifer Leslie-Panek, my predecessor, for her mentoring, which enabled me to better prepare myself for a very critical executive position as the Director of Educational Services. I hope to be able to “pay it forward” to Mike Perz, my successor, by the end of my term.
I have looked forward to my role with the CSEG executive with eagerness because of my desire to promote education of the younger generation in the field of Geophysics as well to any and all who wish to further their knowledge of Geophysics. To this end, I hope to initiate as many new possibilities as I can during my term of office.
April 2010 saw two main CSEG events. The first was the technical presentation given by Patrick Connolly titled “Robust Workflows for Seismic Reservoir Characterization”. My expectations of a smooth transition from Jennifer’s term of office to mine were quickly shattered by an e-mail from the SEG requesting me to make a contingency plan in case Pat was held up by the Icelandic ash cloud covering Europe at the time. I thought this was going to be my “baptism by fire” because such a sudden change in the planned topic could have disappointed many who were expecting to attend Pat’s technical presentation. Brian Russell, Jeremy Gallop and Dan Hampson volunteered to step in with a technical presentation in case I needed a “Plan B”. “Thank you” Brian, Jeremy and Dan for your professionalism. Pat arrived in Calgary on time and indeed delivered an excellent presentation. Thank you Pat!
The April luncheon was immediately followed by the SEG/CSEG sponsored Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC) given by Colin Sayer titled “Geophysics Under Stress: Geomechanical Applications of Seismic and Borehole Acoustic Waves”. The DISC event attendance was about 125. The one day course was full of mathematical formulae, but Colin demonstrated his skill for simplifying such difficult concepts in a way that was comprehensible to all who attended.
On the heels of the April events came the decennial convention (CSEG/CSPG and several other societies). The fact that I teach at SAIT and the final exams also took place during the week of the technical luncheon and the DISC, made it a very hectic week. Unlike in the previous years where the CSEG had offered two courses during the convention, I attempted a shift in the approach by offering six courses, ever mindful of the risk in offering so many courses, especially when the CSEG main education event is in November i.e. the DoodleTrain. A sincere “Thank you” to Andreas Cordsen, Brian Russell, Ron Hinds, Rick Kuzmiski, Satinder Chopra, Shawn Maxwell and Ted Glenn for their efforts in making this endeavour a great success with a total student registration count above 80. My task was made more challenging with my first and second year students participating in the challenge bowl, and the student poster contest respectively, at the convention. Needless to say it was indeed a great experience for my students. As for myself, the gratitude of my students and the success of the short courses was sufficient reward for my efforts. Award presentations for the winners of the various Geophysics competitions at the convention, will be made at the September 2010 technical luncheon.
The summer break has indeed been a welcome respite from the year of teaching at SAIT and the initial duties of the executive position. What lies ahead is indeed very exciting. The fall events will be lead by Richard Smith and his luncheon talk titled “15 Years of Passive Seismic Monitoring at Cold Lake, Alberta”. I trust this will be a very hot topic of interest to most in the industry.
The October technical presentation is titled “Refraction Statics: The Art and Science of Near-Surface Interpretation” by Chuck Diggins. Equally, if not more, exciting in October is the planned poster contest by the University of Calgary students under the direction of Dr. Don Lawton and Adam Pidlisecky. Given my desire to see Geophysics students from the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University and SAIT become more involved in industry events, and have more opportunities to learn from the veterans of the industry, I hope this event will be held annually. Definitely a great opportunity to showcase young talent!
November will see the annual DoodleTrain event take place with Dr. Mike Batzle as the keynote speaker and his technical presentation will be “It’s the fluids that count”. As usual, even though the industry is in recovery mode, I expect a fair amount of interest in the annual professional development opportunity. This year, eight excellent new courses in Data acquisition, Processing, Structural interpretation, Reservoir modelling and Professional skills are being offered. For a complete list of courses being offered and to register please refer to the CSEG website at : http://cseg.ca/education/doodletrain.
To round up 2010, in December, the CSEG/CSPG joint technical presentation will be given by Dr. Carl Sondergeld (SEG/AAPG Distinguished lecturer) titled “Rumblings from the laboratory: Past, present, and future“. A joint luncheon that is sure to be well received by the members of both societies will be a fitting way to end the year 2010.
With January and February 2011 technical presentations yet to be finalized, the March technical luncheon will be highlighted by the Annual General Meeting, CSEG awards, and most notably the luncheon speaker will be none other than Satinder Chopra who will be concluding his tour of duty as the CSEG distinguished lecturer.
The CSEG technical luncheons are a vital service that is offered for the benefit of its members. However, the members do expect the executive to ensure fiscal responsibility, especially at a crucial time such as this when companies in the Oil and Gas industry are curtailing employee benefits such as providing free luncheon tickets. To this end, the executive has initiated the opportunity for corporate members and non-members to sponsor technical luncheons. In return, the sponsoring companies will be provided with advertising opportunities as well as benefits such as a reserved table at the technical luncheon. I am very pleased to announce that several technical luncheons have already been sponsored. Please contact the CSEG office at (403)-262-0015 for further information on how to add your company's name to the growing list of technical luncheon sponsors and reap the benefits of this opportunity.
In closing, let me thank all of you who have eagerly helped me in so many ways. The camaraderie I have felt is truly heart-warming. My earnest request to all CSEG members is that you communicate to the CSEG executives any new ideas regarding ways in which to improve this great professional society of ours.
“All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”